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By Patrick Samuel • June 20th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Tri Star Pictures

Release date: July 19th, 1984
Running time: 111 minutes

Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Writer: David Odell

Cast: Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, Peter O’Toole, Mia Farrow


I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was one of those rare times when my father took me to the cinema – just me and no one else. Knowing how much I’d loved Superman and had even tried to fly during my first viewing of the film, he thought I’d love Supergirl just as much. But in the same way my family had been asked to leave the cinema after the commotion I made with my attempts at flying, my father was told that if he couldn’t get me to stop crying we’d have to leave Supergirl. It would be another four years before I finally got to see the ending of the film, but what scared me so much that first time?

The film starts off in the wonderful Argo City, somewhere deep in the vastness of space. That’s where we meet the blond hired and blue-eyed Kara Zor-El (Helen Slater), the daughter of Zor-El (Simon Ward) and Alura (Mia Farrow) and cousin to Kal-El, played by Christopher Reeve in the Superman movies from 1978 to 1987. Her friend Zaltar (Peter O’Toole) borrows a hugely powerful object called the Omegahedron that’s used to power the city, but he’s done so without the knowledge of the city government. After allowing Kara to play with it, an accident causes it to be blown into outer space. As a result Argo City is put in jeopardy and Kara follows the Omegahedron all the way to Earth to retrieve it.

Arriving on Earth, she finds it to be a place of immense beauty and quickly discovers she has some amazing abilities. She can fly, she has incredible strength and her powers are unlike anything anyone on Earth has seen before…unless of course they’ve seen her cousin, Superman. Kara traces the Omegahedron to a pair of wannabe witches, Selena (Faye Dunaway) and Bianca (Brenda Vaccaro) and a warlock, Nigel (Peter Cook). At first they have no clue what the object is but as it begins to display its own powers, Selena becomes determined to use it to grant her every will and wish.


Enrolling at the girls school where Nigel teaches, Kara tries to blend in and in the process makes friends under the disguise of Linda Lee with Lucy Lane (Maureen Teefy), the younger sister of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure), but then she spots Ethan (Hart Bochner) who works as a groundskeeper at the school and develops a crush on him, but at the same time Selena also spots him and decides to make him her own love slave using the power of the Omegahedron.

With Selena’s thirst for power growing eventually it leads to a confrontation between her and Supergirl which ends with our hero being imprisoned in the “eternal void” known as the Phantom Zone where she also encounters her friend Zaltar. He’s exiled himself to the Phantom Zone as a punishment for losing the Omegahedron but does all he can to help Kara, who’s now stripped of her powers, return to Earth and continue her fight. This is where I remember Supergirl getting too scary.

The sight of the swirling blue and red tornado came very close to swallowing them both and there’s also an oily bog which was quite unpleasant. As a five-year-old it was all getting a bit too much for me and I remember not being sure if Kara/Supergirl Supergirlwas going to make it, part of me was terrified she wouldn’t and then came the tears. Before I knew it I was back in the car and being driven home, much to the annoyance of my father who probably really just wanted to have an afternoon out.

As I said before, it would be another few years before I got to see the conclusion to Supergirl and the second time round it didn’t seem that scary. As Kara returns to Earth, fuelled by all she’s experienced so far at the hands of her nemesis and her sorcery, Selena and her sidekick Bianca will have a tough battle to fight if they want to continue their evil ways.

Fun, colourful and with Helen Slater looking drop dead gorgeous as Kara/Supergirl the film remains one of my childhood favourites despite the negative reviews and poor box office sales. Along with Splash (1984) and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), it’s one of the handful of movies my father took me to see in those rare moments when he was around and not away on business and that’s probably another reason why I’ve come to treasure it so much.


Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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